Ilyon & Acktar Character Chat #4

Chat#4

You can find the previous chats here: Chat #1, Chat #2, Chat #3.

All of the giveaways at the end of these chats are still open through midnight tonight so make sure you enter if you haven’t already done so!


The Ilyon and Acktar characters gather in the kitchen and parlor of Leith and Renna’s cabin. After three previous character chats, the characters are becoming comfortable with each other.

Renna had baked several trays of maple sugar cookies, and everyone has one or two in their hands as they talk.

Kaden, Brandi, Jamie, and Kayleigh are gathered in the parlor and laughing and chatting loudly. Kyrin sits by the table with Renna and Ranson, and the three of them are talking much more quietly, but even Ranson has relaxed with Kyrin’s gentle manner.

Jaye and I are sitting on the opposite side of the table from Renna and Kyrin. I’m nibbling on my second maple sugar cookie while Jaye has some molasses toffee.

But, as I glance around, I notice Leith, Martyn, and Jace appear to be missing. I’m about to ask Renna where they are, when the door opens and the three of them stroll inside, laughing. Their hair is wet, as if they just rinsed off in the Ondieda River in the canyon nearby. Leith and Jace are grinning, and Martyn seems to be shaking his head at something Jace just said.

“Where have you been?” I ask as Leith snags a maple sugar cookie and slides onto the bench next to Renna.

“Sparring.”

I cross my arms as Jace takes the seat next to Kyrin. “You guys decided to go off and have that practice fight without telling me? The fangirls are going to be so disappointed we missed it.”

“Exactly.” Martyn huffs as he joins Kayleigh.

Leith shakes his head. “It wasn’t a fight to see who would win. We were showing each other different moves and skills with an occasional practice round in between. More like training than an actual fight.”

He says it nonchalantly, but I can tell. Whatever sparring match he and Jace had, it was the best match Leith has had in a while.

I turn to Jaye with a gesture in Jace’s direction. “Sorry if Jace starts showing assassin-y skills in the next book.”

Jaye shrugs. “I’m sure he appreciates picking up some new skills that might help him defend Kyrin should the need arise.” She looks at him. “Don’t you?”

Jace nods. “Of course.”

Now that everyone is here, I finish my last bite of cookie. “All right, everyone! Let’s find seats and get this final chat started.”

Kaden, Brandi, and Jamie find seats on the floor. Ranson squirms out from between Renna and Kyrin to retreat to the corner and find a seat on the floor near Jamie and Brandi.

Kayleigh and Martyn sit next to each other on the hearth.

“Welcome to the last Ilyon and Acktar chat, at least for now. Are you guys relieved or sad?”

Leith shifts and looks away from me. “Relieved.”

“But a little sad.” Brandi leans her chin on her knees. “I’m going to miss all my new Ilyon friends.”

“We’ll miss you too.” Kaden gives her a smile. “You’d make a great dragon rider. And you’d all make great additions to the Resistance.”

Jace and Kyrin agree.

“Jaye and I might have to do this again someday.” I grin at Jaye before turning back to the stack of questions in front of me. “Let’s start with an easy one. Martyn and Kayleigh, do you guys get married in this book?”

“Well, um,” Kayleigh lifts her hand, showing that she and Martyn are holding hands. “Isn’t that one of the spoilers we aren’t supposed to be telling as part of these chats?”

“The book has been out for a couple of days, so I think most people probably know the answer by now, so it is probably fine to spoil it.”

Martyn scowls at me. “Nope. I’m not telling. It is my business when I get married and to whom and all that.”

“All right then.” That was all the answer I would get out of Martyn. I had better ask a few more of the questions for Martyn before he goes fully grumpy on me. “Holly wants to know if you have any objections to fan art of you and Wanderer?”

“Fan art?” Martyn’s expression twists, as if he’s torn between a scowl and a smirk.

Kayleigh pats his shoulder. “I would love to see fan art of Martyn. But I’m rather biased.”

“Of course you are.” I try to suppress my grin. “One more question for you, Martyn. How tall are you?”

“5’10” or 5’11”. Something like that.”

“Taller than Leith, but shorter than Jace.” Looking at Martyn’s grouchy expression, I probably should move on to a question for someone else. “Ranson.”

He jumps and appears like he wants to shrink back into the woodwork.

“Don’t worry. This is a somewhat easy question. if you were stranded in the woods in the middle of the night, without any supplies, in the pouring rain, and you could only have one person with you, who would you choose? Why?”

Ranson looks down at his hands and mumbles.

“Sorry, I know you don’t like to be put in the spotlight, but could you say that loud enough for everyone to hear?”

Ranson sneaks a glance at Martyn and Kayleigh where they are perched on the hearth. “Kayleigh. Because she knows how to make snares and cook and stuff.”

Kayleigh smirks, and Martyn’s expression looks torn between offended and approving. Finally, he shrugs. “No, you’re right. I’d pick Kayleigh too.”

“Just a few more questions, Ranson, then you can relax.” I smile reassuringly. “Olivia wants to know how you met Blane? And how Respen found you and Blane?”

Ranson stares at the floor. “I met Blane on the streets after my Nana Harding died. Respen found the two us on the streets one day and took us both to train as Blades.”

Not the longest answer, but it was all the answer I was probably going to get out of Ranson. Time to move on to someone who wouldn’t mind answering questions. “Kaden, what was your first impression of Jace? Has it changed? Did you win most of the fights you got into at Tarvin Hall?”

Kaden laughs. “Well, I suppose my very first impression of Jace was ‘who’s this guy hanging out with my sister, and why is she spending so much time with him?’ He wasn’t the sort I expected Kyrin to become such close friends with. But once I got to know him, I understood. It helped to know he had such a strong desire to protect her. He’s my brother-in-law now, so my impression of him has obviously changed quite a bit.”

Kyrin gives him a warm smile.

“Now, as for those fights…” Kaden shakes he head. “I actually lost most of them. My opponents usually had backup, so most weren’t even fair.” He smirks. “It never stopped me though.”

“Speaking of fights. Jamie, in your opinion, would Leith or Martyn be scarier to face in a fight?”

“Leith.” Jamie doesn’t hesitate.

When Martyn doesn’t protest, I glance at him. He shrugs. “I fought at Leith’s side when he was a Blade, remember? There were times he scared me.”

“It isn’t something to be proud of.” Leith shakes his head.

“This is a question for all the characters. What would be your go-to passage(s) of Scripture (or King’s Scrolls in Ilyon) for when you are feeling discouraged?”

“Psalm 27 is my favorite.” Renna shrugs. “Though I think everyone already knew that.”

“I like Romans 8. And Psalm 46. And, well, a lot of passages.” Brandi grins. “And most of the book of Daniel, of course.”

“Daniel 3 is a favorite, of course.” Leith traces one of the twisting wood grains on the table. “But I haven’t really picked a favorite yet. It’s still all so new. Large chunks of the Bible I’ve only read once.”

“I like Isaiah 55:8-9,” Kyrin says. “It reminds me that God is in control and has a plan even when we can’t see what it is. I’ve had to rely on that a lot.”

Jace shrugs. “Like Leith, I haven’t had a chance to read the Scrolls as much as I would have liked since we don’t have many copies, but from what I have read, my favorite is probably Psalms 22:24.”

Kaden thinks about it for a moment. “I don’t really have a particular favorite, but I like Psalms 9:9-10. It’s definitely a passage to keep in mind with everything going on in Ilyon.”

“Here’s a random question also for everyone: have you ever eaten raccoon? The reader who asked this question has herself, so she was wondering if any of you had.” I glance over at Jace, Kyrin, and Kaden. “Are there raccoons in Ilyon?”

“There are, but I can’t say I’ve ever eaten one,” Jace says.

Kyrin and Kaden shake their heads.

Kayleigh nods. “I’ve eaten raccoon.”

Martyn’s eyes widen. “Wait. Does that mean I’ve had it?”

“Meat is meat.” Kayleigh huffs. “And raccoons are rather plentiful.”

Martyn starts looking a little green.

Leith glances at Renna. Renna shakes her head. “As lady of Stetterly, most of our meat comes from the town’s cattle herd. So no raccoon. So unless Respen fed you guys raccoon, I don’t think you’ve eaten it.”

“I wouldn’t put it past him. Raccoons were a nuisance in Blathe.” Leith grimaces.

“All right then. Jamie.” I glance over at where him and Ranson are doing their best to be invisible in the corner. “What is the most important thing in the world to you?”

“My Bible is very important to me.” Jamie has his head down, but I don’t miss the quick glance he shoots in Brandi’s direction, the tips of his ears going a tad pink.

I try to hide my grin. “The next question is kind of for me, but I guess, Brandi, you can give your opinion on the answer. Ava wants to know if there will be any romance for Brandi.”

Jamie’s ears turn even redder, and he shrinks farther into his corner.

Brandi’s nose crinkles as she grimaces. “Romance?”

“What, don’t you want romance?” I raise my eyes at her.

“Maybe. Eventually. But I don’t know anyone I like that way.” Brandi shrugs. “All the boys I know are like brothers to me.”

I’d better leave it at that and let the fangirls read into the interview what they want for hints about Brandi and Jamie in books 6 and 7. Instead, I grin. “After the earlier chats, someone mentioned they shipped you and Kaden.”

Kaden snorts.

Brandi rolls her eyes. “Seriously? He’s like a big brother.”

Leith puts on an exaggerated hurt expression. “And here I thought I was your big brother.”

“Your my favorite big brother and always will be.” Brandi leans forward from her seat on the floor so she can pat Leith’s shoulder. “But Kaden has a dragon so I’m adopting him for a brother.”

Kaden grins now. “Happy to be adopted.”

“Since we are talking about adopting brothers…Leith, you seem to have a habit of collecting brothers and family. Why do you think that is?”

Leith shrugs. “I was an only child and my family wasn’t…healthy. I would think most people who grow up in a situation like that would long for a real, good family. Maybe I take it a little far, but no one seems to mind. Most of them also need a family.” Leith glances at Jace. “Do you have a habit of adopting brothers or adopting your own sort of family?”

Kyrin leans into Jace’s shoulder. “He has a habit of adopting animals.”

Jace shrugs. “They’re kind of family. Animals were all I had growing up. But I’m more likely to be the one adopted–first with Rayad, Kalli, and Aldor, and now with the Altairs.”

“Kaden, Holly wants to know if you’d prefer fan art of you in a fist fight or riding Exisis?”

“Uh,” Kaden rubs his chin, “probably riding Exsis. Like I said, I lost most of my fist fights.”

“Also, which is faster? Exsis or Storm?”

“Storm. Female dragons are generally a bit faster since they’re smaller.”

“This question is for Renna, but I think I’ll ask it of both Renna and Kyrin. Who do you consider to be your hero/heroine?”

Renna glances at Kyrin, and they both seem to be looking to the other to answer first. Renna looks back to me. “Aunt Mara. I look back at how much she did for us, and it makes me miss her all the more. And, of course, my mother. She faced down First Blade Vane to buy us time to escape.”

“Definitely my father,” Kyrin said quietly. “He sacrificed everything for his faith.”

I swallow back a lump at my throat thinking about Kyrin’s father. I don’t cry often over books, but I cried then. I clear my throat. “I have a number of questions for both Leith and Martyn. How many knives does a Blade carry, and where? Did all the Blades wear black even when they weren’t on a mission? Are all a Blade’s knives the same size and style?”

Leith grimaces, as if he doesn’t like talking about his past in the Blades. “All of our knives were the same shape and style, though Vane carried a few extra that were better for throwing. Yes, we wore black all the time, except for times when we wore tan to blend in to the prairie on spying missions. I think Respen liked the intimidation of having us dressed in black. A Blade was immediately recognizable, and thus feared.”

“Even if black isn’t the most practical for sneaking around. The dark green and dark grays we tend to wear now as Blade Marshals are better.” Martyn pats the knife belted at his waist. “I have…” he pauses a moment to count in his head. “I’m wearing five knives. Two in my boots, two belted to my waist, and one hidden knife.”

“Hidden knife?” I cock my head at him. “We’ve talked about this. You need to give specific answers.”

Martyn glares back. “I’m not blurting out for the whole world where my hidden knife is. That defeats the point.”

Kayleigh taps his back between his shoulder blades. “It’s here. Though he doesn’t wear it all the time since it itches.”

“Kayleigh.” Martyn growls and swings his glare to her.

She doesn’t appear at all phased by his glare and instead cocks her head and gives him a look.

For a moment, his mouth twitches, like he is fighting to hold his scowl, until finally he sighs and looks away. “Fine. But Leith needs to answer too.”

Leith sighs. “Six. Two in my boots, two at my waist, and two across my chest. But I’m experimenting with hiding a few more knives since all of mine are currently visible.”

“Well, there’s mine.” Renna pats her leg where she has a knife hidden beneath her skirt.

“Yes, there is yours.” Leith gives her a smile that softens his eyes. “No one ever expects you to be armed.”

Leith and Renna and their mushy moments. I turn to Jace. “Jace, this isn’t actually a reader question, but I’m going to ask it because I’m curious. How many weapons do you normally carry?”

“Just two, normally. My sword and a hunting knife. If I think I’ll need it, I also carry a bow.”

“Leith and Jace, what was/is the greatest struggle of your life?”

Leith stares at the table top as he thinks. “A lot of my life has been a struggle, but for much of it I gave in instead of fighting to do what was right. And, now, my hardest struggle are the nights when the past seems too close, and I have to remind myself that I’ve been redeemed from it.”

Renna slips her hand into his and leans closer.

“Wondering if I had a soul was my greatest struggle. After all, it nearly killed me.” Jace shakes his head as if thinking back to his time in Samara and the dungeon. “My greatest struggle now is probably my fear of losing Kyrin. We’ve all lost so much, and it’s always so sudden. It’s difficult to balance knowing that I could lose Kyrin or someone else I love just as suddenly and trusting Elom.”

Kyrin squeezes his hand.

Time for a lighter question. I glance up at Martyn and grin. He huffs out a breath, already shaking his head as if that will stop me from asking. “Martyn, if you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?”

“Stubborn.” Kayleigh says at the same moment Brandi blurts, “Grumpy.”

Martyn shoots both of them an annoyed look, then shrugs. “What they said.”

“All right. Last question. Holly really, really wants Kaden and Martyn to arm wrestle.”

Kaden eyes Martyn. “Something tells me that’s not a good idea.”

Martyn crosses his arms. “Not that I don’t think I’d win, but wasn’t the whole fight with Leetra thing from the first chat bad enough?”

I laugh. “Probably.” I glance over at Jaye. “We actually had Kaden planned for the poll question today, but we didn’t pair him with you. We actually paired him with Kayleigh.”

“Me?” Kayleigh rests a hand on her sword, assessing Kaden.

“You’re both trained in sword fighting, and we figured, since Kaden spars with Kyrin, that he would have less of a problem fighting a girl.” I shrug.

Kaden laughs like he’s a bit nervous. “I wouldn’t turn down a friendly sparring session, but I’m not sure it would be fair.”

Jaye raises a brow at him. “You don’t think Kayleigh has a chance?”

“Oh, no, that’s not what I’m saying.” Kaden pauses and shoots another glance at Martyn. “I just think, if I did win, I might have another opponent to face, so I’d probably throw the fight.”

Martyn smirks and pats his knife while meeting Kaden’s gaze. He doesn’t say anything, but with the way Kaden shifts, Martyn doesn’t have to.

Kayleigh glares first at Martyn, then at Kaden. “Don’t you dare throw the fight. I’ll keep Martyn in line.”

“Will you?” Martyn’s smirk turns a bit gushy.

“Yes.” Kayleigh moves as if to lightly elbow him in the ribs, but he squirms out of elbow reach and avoids it.

I shake my head. Those two.


That’s the last of our character chats! Thanks so much for reading these, everyone! And don’t forget to comment on this post or answer the poll of whether you think Kayleigh or Kaden would win in a fight to be entered to win an Acktar-themed t-shirt.

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Ilyon & Acktar Character Chat #2

Chat#2

I finish arranging the chairs around one of the large, oak tables in Nalgar Castle’s Great Hall and straighten all the name tags by the seats. Jaye did such a great job hosting all the characters in Ilyon. I want to do just as good a job here in Acktar. Never mind the fact that I’m trying to contain my inner fangirl. Jace is going to be here. In Acktar.

The door to the Great Hall opens, and the Acktar characters file in first. Brandi skips inside, grinning as she locates her name tag by her seat. Leith and Renna enter the room next, holding hands. Leith glances at me, a wary look in his eyes. He’s probably remembering past character chats.

Martyn and Kayleigh come in next, and they are also holding hands. I shake my head. That’s what I get for having so many happy couples. Shad follows them, looking a bit lost without Jolene at his side.

Keevan strolls in last, followed by his brothers-in-law and bodyguards Frank and Patrick.

I point at the bodyguards. “They aren’t necessary for this chat, and I don’t recall inviting them.”

Keevan shrugs. “They wouldn’t listen to me.”

Frank crosses his arms. “We don’t know these other characters you are bringing here, and we aren’t going to leave Keevan unguarded.”

I open my mouth to argue but shake my head. I could remind them that they had to listen to me. I am the author. But…that hasn’t stopped them before. I doubt they’ll listen to me this time either. “Fine. They can stay. Besides, I like Frank and Patrick.”

Patrick grins. “We know. Oh, and Mama said to tell you she has apple pie ready in the kitchen for after this chat. She’s also working on a wheat-free apple dessert for Jaye.”

“I’ll have to thank her for the extra effort.” It’s a good thing King Keevan’s mother-in-law is an excellent cook in her own right with several good cooks working for her. I may need to use the pie as a bribe to get the characters to cooperate.

The doors to the Great Hall open and Jaye L. Knight steps inside, followed by Jace, Kyrin Kaden, Prince Daniel, and Trask. All of the characters are looking around, though Trask and Prince Daniel especially have a glint in their eyes as if accessing the castle’s strengths and weaknesses. Habit, probably.

I run to give Jaye a hug, then I hug Jace. It’s a little awkward, considering he’s fairly tall and I’m so short I don’t even reach his shoulder. He’s probably over a foot taller than me. And the fact that he’s got a longsuffering look on his face that says he’s doing his best to tolerate this hug.

“Kaden!” Brandi runs to give him a hug. I groan. Uh, oh. Brandi really bonded with Talas and Kaden last time. I think she’s claimed two more brothers. And I was worried about Leith’s habit of adopting brothers.

While Jaye catches up with the Acktar characters, I hug Kyrin, Kaden, and Prince Daniel. Prince Daniel eyes me like he’s not sure why he’s getting fangirled over.

By the time I finish, I notice Kyrin, Renna, Leith, and Jace are all chatting in a group. That makes me grin. By the time these chats were over, they’d be good friends.

After I give them all a few more minutes to chat, I call everyone to their seats. The Ilyon characters sit on one side of the table, the Acktar characters the other.

As the host, it’s my job to make introductions and ask the questions. “I believe most of you met at the last character chat over in Ilyon. Shad, Kayleigh, Keevan, this is Jace, Kyrin, Kaden, Trask, and Prince Daniel. Ilyon characters, this is Kayleigh, Martyn’s girlfriend, Shad Alistair, and King Keevan of Acktar.”

Kayleigh smiles at the Ilyon characters while Keevan gives them each a nod. Across the table from Keevan, Prince Daniel of Ilyon eyes Keevan’s bodyguards.

Keevan gestures over his shoulder at Frank and Patrick. “Never hire your brothers-in-law as your bodyguards. They tend to be rather overprotective.”

Daniel darts a glance at Jace.

“Hey, what was that?” Jaye demands.

Daniel looks at her innocently. “What?”

Kaden and Trask smirk and look toward the ceiling.

“That’s exactly the sort of thing that gets the fangirls talking.” Jaye shakes her head. “Sorry, Tricia, go on.”

“All right then. Let’s get started with the questions.” I pull out a paper with a long list of questions. “Let’s start with a question that several readers have been eager to know: Jace and Leith, do you think the two of you would be friends if you lived in the same world?”

Leith glances across the table at Jace, shrugs, then turns to me. “Probably.”

I glare at him. “That’s not much of an answer.”

Leith sighs. “We already kind of answered this on the last chat, but fine. Our pasts are similar, and we could teach each other a few fighting techniques. Yes, we’d probably be friends.”

“Better.” I smile at Jace. “Jace, do you have anything to add?”

“I agree. I think we’d understand each other the way Holden and I do.”

“Good answers. How about another easy one. Janice wants to know how much taller Jace is than Leith.”

Leith glances across the table at Jace. “A lot.”

“Well, you’re five foot nine or so.” I turn to Jaye. “How tall is Jace?”

“Jace is six foot three.”

“There you have it. Jace is six inches taller than Leith.” I grin as I reach the next question. “Leith, Addyson wants to know: how does it feel to know you’ll only ever be second best to the sweetest cinnamon roll ever aka Jace?”

“Fine by me. Fangirls are scary. He can have them.” Leith shakes his head, and Renna squeezes his hand as if he needs reassurance.

Jace looks embarrassed. “I still don’t understand fangirls.”

I laugh. “Well, Jace, Addyson did say to tell you sorry, but you’re well loved.”

He shrugs. “According to Jaye, that’s a good thing.”

“Time for a question for someone else for a change.” I look down the table toward where Brandi sits at the end of the Acktar side. “Brandi, what do you think of Jace? You haven’t had much of a chance to get to know him, and you spent most of the last chat talking with Talas and Kaden, but I know you. You form opinions of people pretty quickly.”

Brandi grins. “Well, he has a gorgeous black horse and a black wolf for a pet. Of course I like him. Now the real question is whether he can tolerate me or if he thinks I’m annoying and talk too much.”

Jace sends her a quick smile. “I think we’d be all right now. I might not have tolerated you well a couple of years ago, but I’ve grown a lot since then.”

“I would’ve won you over eventually. I always do.” Brandi glares at Martyn. “Even if some people are too grumpy to appreciate it.”

Martyn huffs and mutters something under his breath. Kayleigh lightly smacks his arm.

“Well, we’d always be glad to have you at the Altair table.” Kaden grins at Brandi. “I’ll make a dragon rider out of you yet.”

Letting Brandi meet Talas and Kaden at the last chat might not have been such a good thing. I can only imagine how much trouble she would get into with a dragon. “Brandi, I have a couple more questions for you. What do you think are your weaknesses? And who is your best friend?”

“Weakness?” Brandi grins. “I’m reckless.”

Renna shakes her head. Leith huffs. Kaden grins at her like she’s a kindred spirit.

“As for my best friend, that would be Jamie, though he is more of a brother than a friend.” Brandi shrugs. “I am also close to Shad’s sister Abigail, though I don’t get to see her as much as I would like.”

Considering Brandi is friends with everyone, at least she kept her list short.

“Keevan, I have quite a few questions for you.” I shuffle my papers. I almost don’t want to ask him the next questions. “The first two are kind of…tough. I’m sorry. Leah. S. wants to know why were you such a coward hiding at Eagle Heights? You let your cousins take your burden. And Addyson calls you nasty stinking Keevan and says that she gets that Leith tried to murder you and all, and that’s hard to get over, but Leith is amazing so why can’t you just get over it and be friends with him?”

The room gets an awkward, tense silence to it. Keevan’s arms are crossed, his knuckles white as he clenches his fists. But his face is almost too carefully blank. Leith is staring at the table, looking like he wants to bolt from the room. Renna’s gaze is also focused on the table as she grips Leith’s hand. Martyn and Kayleigh are taking the opposite approach and studying the ceiling as if they really don’t want to be asked to respond.

Brandi snorts. “The fangirls tell it like it is, don’t they?”

Keevan shakes his head and waves from Prince Daniel to Jace. When he speaks, his rasp scratches through his voice. “Let this be a lesson to you, Prince Daniel. Don’t ever throw the fan favorite–Jace–in prison or in any other way hurt him. The readers will never forgive you.”

Daniel raises his hands. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”

I sigh. “Keevan, I hate to force you to answer this one, but you’re avoiding it.”

Keevan runs his thumb along the scar tracing down his cheek and neck. “I lost my entire family in a single night. I was nearly killed myself and spent months unable to speak. I was driven from my home and spent over five months essentially imprisoned in a single room in Walden Manor to stay hidden. Those older and wiser than me were telling me going into hiding and leaving Renna and Brandi at Stetterly was the best plan, and at that point, who was I to question their wisdom? If that makes me a coward, then so be it. I’m human. Maybe that isn’t a good excuse, and maybe there was something I could have done. But I wasn’t able to see another option at the time.”

“You didn’t have much of a choice.” Renna raises her head, her back straightening. “We may have been in just as much danger if you’d brought us to Eagle Heights and by that action caused Respen to realize there was a secret hideaway he needed to find. Besides I might never have met Leith if I’d been hiding away in Eagle Heights with you.”

Renna and Leith share one of their looks and smiles.

Kaden shakes his head. “You two are as lovey-dovey during these chats as Jace and Kyrin.”

Keevan turns away from them, still rubbing at his scar. “As for the other question. I’m trying. That’s the best I can do at the moment.”

“Fair enough, I guess.” I flip notecards to the next question. “How about an easier one, then? Keevan, what do you think of Jace?”

“I don’t have an issue with him, if that’s what they’re asking. My problem with Leith is personal. It doesn’t affect how I feel about all former killers and assassins.” Keevan glances at Jace across the table. “He’s a good warrior, and someone I’d be honored to have in my army if he lived in Acktar.”

Jace nods in thanks.

Good answer. At least Keevan wouldn’t dig himself into a deeper hole with the fangirls.

Time to pick on someone else for a little while. “Renna, Leah wants to know how you will deal with Leith being gone all the time?”

Renna smiles at Leith before she faces me. “It will be tough, but God will still be with me. Besides, I survived being left alone at Nalgar Castle with Respen. I think I’ll be able to handle a few weeks when I’m in my own cabin with Brandi, Jamie, Ranson, and Kayleigh for company.”

“In other words, we shouldn’t worry about you.” I look down the table at Martyn, and he glares back. “Martyn. How will you deal with leaving Kayleigh and your brother behind when you go on missions with Leith and Shad?”

“Wait. Let me get this straight. The fangirls want to know how Renna will handle waiting for Leith when he’s gone, yet they think I’m the one who’s going to be helplessly pining after Kayleigh? What about Kayleigh? Shouldn’t she be the one pining away at home?”

Shad hides a chuckle behind his hand.

“You wish.” Kayleigh lightly swats his shoulder. “You know I can’t handle having you underfoot all the time. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of myself.”

“I know you are, but…” Martyn crosses his arms. “This question is ridiculous. I’m fine. Kayleigh’s fine. Leith and Renna are obviously fine.”

Kaden smirks.

Time to move on to another question before Martyn starts insulting people. “Keevan, Karis wants to know how do you feel that Addie strengthened your faith early on in your relationship?”

A warm smile sneaks across Keevan’s face. “Addie is sensible. She doesn’t waste time on self-pity, and she kept me from completely wallowing in self-pity those first few months. She and her whole family taught me a lot about what it means to give selflessly, and that strengthened my faith in a lot of ways.”

“Thank you, Keevan.” I glance around at all the characters sitting along the table. “This question is for everyone. Sorry, it is another uncomfortable one. Who do you think has killed the most out of all of you here? Apparently leading people into battle counts.”

The characters start whispering to each other and shifting uncomfortably. It’s not a question any of them really wants to answer. Killing the most people isn’t something any of them want to brag about. Maybe if we had Vane, Davira, and Respen sitting at this table, one of them would’ve gladly stepped forward. They probably would’ve fought over who was the most evil.

But these characters sitting before me? They don’t see kills as something to glory in.

Surprisingly, Jace speaks up first. “None of us from Ilyon have led anyone into battle, but of the four of us, the answer would be me. I can’t speak for anyone from Acktar.”

Keevan lets out a long breath. “Probably me. I have led men into battle, into a battle against fellow countrymen. The lives lost on both sides aren’t something I take lightly.”

Of course he didn’t. Keevan was the type of king who knew the casualty figures from both sides of the battles he fought to regain his throne, and he saw those casualties as more than numbers, but as a weight of individual lives and losses.

Leith shakes his head. “It’s not the same. Not like the way I killed. And in that case, then it’s probably me. And I don’t want to know if I’ve killed more than Jace or not. It doesn’t matter. The answer is still too much for both of us, and we both are deeply thankful that there is redemption for someone like us.”

Jace nods, as if Leith said exactly what he was thinking.

Time to change the subject and lighten the mood. “Keevan, I think it’s time we served the apple pie and other desserts?”

Kaden rubs his hands together and shoots a grin at Brandi.

Keevan gestures, and in a few minutes, servants enter the Great Hall with trays of food and place a plate by everyone’s seat.

After giving everyone a few minutes to dig in, I turn to the Acktar characters. “Shad. I haven’t asked any questions of you yet.”

He swallows a bite of his apple pie and sits straighter. “Yes?” He braces himself as if expecting some difficult question.

“Relax. The fangirls went easy on you. Holly wants to know if you would like to visit Ilyon?”

“Of course. It sounds like a fascinating place.” Shad crosses his arms. “And I didn’t get to visit with some of the others last time.”

“No, you didn’t. Sorry about that. Two more questions: Just how good of an archer are you? And, can Jolene out-shoot you?”

Shad rubs at the back of his neck. “I’m a good archer. Jace, here, could probably out-shoot me. I don’t really know. I’ve never shot as part of a competition before. And can Jolene out-shoot me? Yep.”

I raise my eyebrows at him. “Are you saying that because she actually can out-shoot you or you don’t actually know who is the better shot or you don’t dare say anything else?”

Shad grins. “Yes.”

Trask laughs heartily. “Wise man.”

“Trask, the last question is for you. What were you thinking after you kissed Anne, she pushed you off your horse, and you watched her gallop away?”

“That I couldn’t wait to marry her one day.” He smiles happily. “Now I’m just glad the wait is over.”

“So are all of us fangirls. The wait was excruciating. That’s all for today’s chat. Thanks so much for coming and cooperating.” I smile and nod to all the characters. “As the last part of today’s chat, we have set up a poll for the readers where they can vote whether they think Shad or Trask would win in a fight.”

Shad and Trask glance at each other.

Shad raises his eyebrows, grins, and pats his sword hilt. “That could be interesting, considering we are both noble sons raised to use a sword.”

Trask nods. “Sounds like we should set up a little friendly competition sometime.”

I shake my head. So much friendlier of a reaction than the Leetra and Martyn fight.

Giveaway!

AcktarGiveaway

I’m giving away a signed copy of Decree along with a full set of Acktar character cards with art by H.S.J. Williams. Giveaway is open only to the US due to cost of shipping. 

If you want to vote on the Shad/Trask fight (and enter the giveaway), make sure you vote and enter using the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Ilyon & Acktar Blog Tour

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Header

Today launches the Ilyon & Acktar blog tour! Jaye and I are excited to share this tour and these books with you!

Below is the blog tour schedule with links to all the posts. Take special note of the 4 character chats. These are the combined character chats Jaye and I put together based on reader questions for both the Ilyon and Acktar characters. Not only are these chats hilariously fun, but they also have 4 additional giveaways on top of the main tour giveaway (at the end of this post).

The first chat and giveaway start today over on Ilyonchronicles.com!

Tour Schedule

Friday – December 14 – Release Day for Bitter Winter & Lacy!

Saturday – December 15

Monday – December 17

Tuesday – December 18 – Release Day for Decree!

Wednesday – December 19

 Thursday – December 20

Friday – December 21

Saturday – December 22

Jaye L. Knight’s newest novel, Bitter Winter, and companion novella Lacy released today! I am so excited for Jaye and for these books!

The Ilyon Chronicles

Bitter Winter

About Bitter Winter

Already struggling with a harsh winter and the threat of food shortage, a catastrophic event leaves those in the Landale camps reeling. Just when things couldn’t get much worse, camp members fall ill with the same devastating sickness that’s sweeping across the country.

Determined to gain the cure, Jace sets off to Valcré. However, there are only two sources—the queen, or a powerful gang of smugglers who have made the dangerous city their home. When Jace gains audience with the gang leader, he finds the price of the cure is steeper than any of them imagined, forcing him to make an impossible choice—betray his conscience or let those he loves die.

Available now on Amazon!

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My Review of Bitter Winter
This book is so amazing! As all of Jaye’s books are. This one especially brings the reader through a whole range of emotions. It starts out with plenty of awwww moments, then turns heart-wrenching, then tense and nail-biting. Yet the ending makes all the tension worth it with plenty for fangirls to squeal over! I loved the ending so much, though I’m bracing myself for what is going to happen to my poor, favorite characters in the next book!

Lacy

About Lacy

The last thing Aaron ever envisioned was falling for a prostitute. Everything about it spells trouble. However, he can’t help noticing the way her smile lights up when she sees him and how much brokenness she hides behind it. Neither can he ignore how desperately she needs rescue and protection.

When Lacy shares a life or death secret with him, Aaron is willing to risk everything to help her and to show her Elôm’s love. Yet, such a choice could destroy his reputation and maybe even cost him his freedom.

An Ilyon Chronicles Novella

Available now on Amazon!

goodreads
My Review of Lacy
This book as an unexpected surprise. I’ve always loved Aaron, but this book made me love him all the more. He is such a sweet and strong character, and that really comes through in this book! Although Jace (*cough* my favorite character *cough*) isn’t in this one, I still really enjoyed it.
I would recommend this book for older readers since it does deal with prostitution, but the topic is handled really well, as I would expect from Jaye L. Knight.

Haven’t discovered the world of Ilyon yet? Find out more at the official Ilyon Chronicles website!

About the Author

JayeLKnight Author PhotoJaye L. Knight is an award-winning author, homeschool graduate, and shameless tea addict with a passion for Christian fantasy. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

You can connect with Jaye on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter, and Etsy.

 

Giveaway!

PaperbackGiveaway

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a full signed set of the Ilyon Chronicles and The Blades of Acktar!  (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.) Click on this link to enter.

Don’t forget to stop by each of the character chats for additional giveaways throughout the tour!

Black Friday Sale

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It’s that time of year again! I’ve once again teamed up with a bunch of fellow indie authors to bring you a HUGE Black Friday through Cyber Monday sale on both paperbacks and Kindle books.

If you have purchased books on this Black Friday sale in the past, then this sale is going to look a little different.

This year, most of the books will be available to purchase on Amazon for the kindle version and on sale for paperback on either the author’s websites or through the main sale website.

But, you can find a list of all the books that are for sale on the main sale website with links to direct you to the place to purchase them.

Click Here For the Black Friday Sale Page


Sales on My Books

I have a few really good deals for signed paperbacks here on my website (click on the store tab above or follow this link), including free shipping on all paperbacks purchased through me during this sale.

I also have all of The Blades of Acktar series (except for Decree) on sale for $.99 from Black Friday through Cyber Monday. That means you can get the first 4 books and the companion novella for under $5 or the entire series, including pre-ordering Decree, for under $8. This is a great time to get caught up on the series before Decree‘s release or to share the series with a friend! Click here to go to my book page on Amazon.

Black Friday Sale


Pre-order Giveaway

If you pre-order Decree, make sure you email me for your pre-order author swag. First 100 people will receive 2 character cards for characters from The Blades of Acktar. Click here for more details on how to claim your pre-order swag.

Since we are one Friday closer to the release of Decree, I am going to reveal another one of the character sketches the very talented H.S.J. Williams did for these character cards pre-order swag.

Behold, Martyn!

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BoA Martyn (1)

I love how much of their personalities the artist captured in these sketches! Leith’s stands in a very heroic pose, ready to fight, but with his knife pointed away. Martyn…*shakes head* He looks like he isn’t sure he’s going to protect or attack. Not quite sure if he’s a good guy or a bad guy yet. And that’s so Martyn.

Enjoy the rest of your Thanksgiving weekend!

Decree Pre-order Giveaway

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Only a little over a month until Decree releases! *hyperventilates at the size of my to-do list*

I’m so excited to share this book with you! So excited, in fact, that I decided to do one of those pre-order giveaway / author swag things that a number of authors have been doing lately.

I worked with the lovely artist H.S.J. Williams, the same artist who created the coloring book page for Dagger’s Sleep, to create six character sketches for characters from The Blades of Acktar. I’ve made character postcards that will be sent out as a pre-order swag giveaway (2 character cards per person for the first 100 people who email me to enter).

I’m going to be revealing the characters sketches one at a time for the next six Fridays here and on Instagram.

Pre-Order Swag Giveaway Details:
1) Pre-order Decree on Amazon Kindle OR purchase the paperback as soon as it is available
2). Email me at triciamingerink (at) gmail (dot) com with a screenshot of your pre-order receipt (with payment details blacked out or clipped out), your address where I can mail the character cards, and which 2 characters you would like with a third choice if your first two are unavailable. Characters available: Leith, Renna, Brandi, Martyn, Shad, Kayleigh.
3). I will mail your two signed character cards to you shortly after Decree’s release.

If you can’t pre-order or buy the paperback, I am planning to do a few giveaways with the character cards so there’s a chance you could win them that way too.

Other details:

  • this giveaway is open internationally, but there is a possibility I can only send you 1 card instead of two since I’ll have to keep the weight below 1oz
  • this giveaway is only available to the first 100 people who email me to sign up.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Now to reveal Leith’s character sketch…

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Ta-da! Isn’t it amazing?

BoA Leith

What do you think?

Do you like pre-order giveaways like this?

Ilyon and Acktar Blog Tour Sign Up

I’m going to keep this short and sweet. The sign up for reviewers and the blog tour for Decree (by me) and Bitter Winter and Lacy (by Jaye L. Knight) is now open! You only have until November 23 to sign up for the blog tour, so don’t wait!

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A few other reminders first:

  • All of the books are available for Kindle Preorder! You can preorder here: Decree, Bitter Winter, Lacy.
  • Also, as part of the blog tour, Jaye L. Knight and I are going to be holding character Q&A chats with the combined cast of Ilyon and Acktar on our blogs. If you have a question you’d like to submit for that, you can go here to do so.
  • Finally, all of The Blades of Acktar books are going to be on sale on Kindle for Black Friday and I’ll be running a sale on the paperback books on my website, so please make sure you stop back here on Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you’re interested in those deals.

Now on to the blog tour sign up sheet!

Please use this form if you want to be reviewer or part of the blog tour. Reviewers do not need to have a blog.

Thanks so much in advance for your willingness to post about our books and to spread the word on the Internet! It means so much to see your excitement!

More Release Announcements

If you follow my blog, then you already know that Decree (The Blades of Acktar #5) releases in less than two months!

*cue me panic screaming*

Twitter Header Decree

In all seriousness, it has been coming along well and the feedback I’ve been getting from beta-readers is positive, so that’s exciting!

I’m working on putting together some sort of giveaway for those who preorder Decree or buy it on the release date (since Amazon still won’t let indie authors set up a preorder for paperbacks) so keep a look out for that.

Preorder Decree

In the meantime, keep a look out for more release announcements. They are going to be coming fast and furious over the next month or so.

But Wait There's More Billy May

Many of you are also fans of Jaye L. Knight, and she just announced today that her next books Bitter Winter (The Ilyon Chronicles book #5) and Lacy (a companion novella) are going to be releasing December 14. That is four days before Decree releases!

Since we also happen to be good friends, we decided it would be awesome to do one massively epic co-release! As part of the blog tour, we’re going to be doing Q&A chats with both the characters from Ilyon and Acktar. TOGETHER. Able to talk to each other. In one virtual “room.”

Did I mention this blog tour is going to be epic?

But we need your help. Please submit your burning questions in the form below for the Ilyon and Acktar characters.

There will be more information and the sign up form for the actual blog tour and book reviewers in the next few weeks, so please watch for that.

Thanks so much for being such amazing, loyal fans!

My Next Release

If you paged through all the coloring book entries on Tuesday, then you already heard the big news. But for those of you who didn’t, I’m officially announcing that my next release is going to be Decree (The Blades of Acktar #5)

Yes, you read that right. There’s going to be another Blades book. This one is a collection of 4 novellas and 5 or 6 short stories (depending on which ones remain in the collection after editing). Some of the stories will be back story, but most of the stories pick up only a few months after Deliver and follow the characters until about 8 years after Deliver ends.

The best part is that my planned release date is December 18, 2018. Yep. That’s only two months away!

Decree Cover 101518 Final

About the book: 

The Adventure Continues.

Discover more of The Blades of Acktar in this collection of novellas and short stories.

The Blades as They Should’ve Been
A test and the Gathering of Nobles will decide Leith and Martyn’s futures. Can they fight to become more than the Blades they were? Will Keevan accept what it means to have the man who attempted to kill him as family?

The First Mission
When Martyn visits Surgis, his past seems determined to haunt him. Can he figure out how to forgive, especially when confronted with an enemy in need of his help?

To the Far Great Mountains
A death sends Leith and Martyn far beyond the borders of Acktar. Will they be able to arrest their quarry before they are caught themselves?

From the story of how Leith and Martyn met to Ranson’s search for a life outside of the Blades, these stories will answer plaguing questions and expand the world of Acktar.

Click here to add the book on Goodreads

Click here to preorder the Kindle version on Amazon

I know some of you might have a lot of questions, so I’m going to answer as many of them in this post as possible. If you have any questions I don’t answer, feel free to ask. Though, if it is spoiler-related, be prepared if I might give a rather vague answer.

Why are you releasing these novellas and short stories as one book? Wouldn’t it make more sense to release them as companion novellas? 

I thought about releasing the novellas on their own, but in the end, I decided for several reasons that it was best to keep them all as one book because:

1). I could then label it as The Blades of Acktar #5 on Amazon. One thing readers wouldn’t know is that the Kindle Publishing page doesn’t let you set up a book as 4.5 in a series. Thus the companion books don’t show up as linked to the series and it does hurt sales. Destroy, my one companion novella, doesn’t sell as well as the others because it is harder for people to find. Yes, I can put the series name as part of the title and that does help, but if you go on Amazon, The Blades of Acktar is listed as a 4 book series and doesn’t count Destroy.

Think of this book like Ranger’s Apprentice book 11, which is a traditionally published book that did the same thing by collecting a bunch of novellas and short stories into one book to release all of them together.

2). Together, the novellas tell one story. The main theme is Leith and Martyn establishing the new Blades (won’t tell you what they are called because that is kind of a spoiler). So it makes sense to group them together. In many ways, they stand together as one book better than they would as separate novellas.

3). There is a lot of set up in the collections for The Blades of Acktar books 6 and 7. Future bad guys are introduced. The countries around Acktar are introduced. The new Blades are established. A whole bunch of new systems and laws are in place. I don’t want people to skip the novellas as just companion novellas that aren’t important when they are an important stepping stone to the next books.

4). Having a 7 book series in the end just sounds better to me than a 6 book series with a lot of companion novellas. Just personal preference, lol.

Wait, wait, wait. Did I read that right? There are going to be two more books after this one? 

Yep, you definitely read that right. I finally gave in to the inevitable and allowed all the various ideas I was getting for Acktar characters to work their way into a cohesive plot.

A lot of that was due to stepping away from Acktar for a while to write Dagger’s Sleep. While I was writing that book, the Acktar characters had a little bit of space to breathe so that when I came back to them, it felt like coming home instead of writing at the edge of being sick of them.

Who are going to be the main characters of Decree? What about books 6 and 7? 

Since Decree is a collection of stories, it has multiple point of view characters, including Leith, Martyn, Kayleigh, Ranson, and a few others.

The current plan for books 6 and 7 is that both of them will have Leith, Brandi, and Jamie as point of view characters.

Leith and Martyn are still going to be point of view characters? Won’t all of the characters be older than the young adult age range? 

Yes, most of the characters will be in their twenties in the later books. It is one reason I held off writing them as long as I did since I wasn’t sure how it would work to have my young adult characters age out of the young adult range.

But a number of things finally made me realized that, yes, it wasn’t so bad to write a few “older” characters.

1). My books, in many ways, aren’t traditional YA novels. Yes, they sort of have a coming of age story line. Yes, they have a romance. Yes, they have YA age protagonists.

But none of that is the focus of the books. The focus is the adventure. And I can keep that focus even when the protagonists are older. News flash: adventure doesn’t end the moment you turn 20 or when you get married. As someone in my twenties, I happen to know I’ve had MORE adventure and fun times in my twenties than I did as a teen.

2). If Ranger’s Apprentice can successfully pull it off, then hopefully I can too. After all, by book 5 in that series, Will is twenty. He spends half the series older than a traditional YA age range. Yet that doesn’t stop fans from loving the books. If anything, it is the later books that people like the most.

3). As a teen, I read a lot of books about adults. One reason for that was that the YA genre as we know it today didn’t exist. But the other reason was that I wanted an adventure. It didn’t matter if the main character was 15 or 35. I enjoyed the book regardless. By the time I was 16 and 17, I was fully into adult westerns and British naval historical novels, and most of the main characters were in their 20s and 30s, and that didn’t impede my enjoyment of the books at all. Hopefully I’m not the only teen reader who does this!

4). If there are some teen readers like me out there, then I didn’t just read to find characters who were teens like me, but I read up into adult books because in many ways I saw myself as an adult (even if the adults around me didn’t think so). I was the responsible sort of teen who felt like I was adult enough to tackle the world. So I think it is probably good to have books occasionally that show the teen characters growing into adults, getting married, having kids. There are many teens who don’t have examples of healthy marriage relationships to look at, and books can give them that even if the real world can’t.

I noticed the header on this book is slightly different. Please don’t tell me you are changing the covers on the books again!

Yes, if you noticed, the header is slightly different on Decree. This is on purpose and signals the new era in Acktar, so this is the header that will be on books 6 and 7 as well.

I am working with my cover designer for the first 3 books to have the header changed to match the one on Deliver and Destroy.

I am also brainstorming ideas for two book prequel series about King Brian and the founding of Acktar, and the header for that series would be similar, with just the upright sword down the center instead of the crossed knives since the upright sword is the symbol of the kings of Acktar.

Wait? A prequel series too????

Yes, but that’s way in the future. At least 2022 (after book 7 releases), so I don’t have it very planned out yet.

But I really liked the world in Dagger’s Sleep? What does writing more Acktar books mean for the new Beyond the Tales series? 

Writing Dagger’s Sleep was a very intense experience since developing that world was a lot of work and making sure the allegory remained Biblically sound shot my stress levels through the roof. After I took a few months break from writing, I found I couldn’t step back into that world right away. The ideas just weren’t fully formed yet. So I started writing a few of the novella ideas I’d had for Acktar, and next thing I knew, I had a book. Oops.

But that doesn’t mean I plan to step away from Beyond the Tales forever. In fact, once I hand Decree off to beta readers, I plan to work on the next book in Beyond the Tales in November. By working on Decree, it helped give me time to brainstorm the next book.

My current plan is to keep going back and forth between the two series so that I (hopefully) won’t get burned out on either one of them as quickly. But I’m going to be flexible depending on which book wants to be written at a given time.

Which Beyond the Tales book are you going to start writing in November?

Stepping away from Beyond the Tales and listening to feedback made me change a few things up with that series. If you look at the back of Dagger’s Sleep, it says that the next book will be Beauty’s Beast. I’ve decided to wait on writing that for now, since it is essentially a spin-off story about the side character of Mirabelle, and instead concentrate on continuing the story with Alex, Daemyn, Rosanna, Berend, and the other characters everyone liked best from Dagger’s Sleep. 

Thus the next book in the series is going to be Midnight’s Curse, the Cinderella retelling. I just brainstormed the plot of this book with a friend, and I’m super excited for how it is coming together. Let’s just say there’s going to be plenty of intrigue, Alex manages to get into more trouble (again), and Daemyn and Rosanna have to race to save him.

So what does that mean for a release schedule? 

I’m an indie author, so release schedules are always subject to a lot of change. But right now, the plan is to release Decree in December, Midnight’s Curse in spring or summer of 2019, then the next Acktar book at the end of 2019 or early 2020, depending on how long it takes me to write it.

That’s all the questions I can think of right now! I hope you guys are as excited as I am!

 

Recent News & an Author Survey

It’s been too long since I posted on my blog. It’s amazing I have any fans left with how silent I’ve been. It’s a good thing you’re patient!

So, I guess, some of my recent news:

Destroy Cover Revised Header 033117Destroy is finally available in paperback! You can buy it here from Amazon or buy a signed copy directly from me through my Store page. If you’ve already bought a copy of Destroy through my website, my stock of books finally arrived yesterday, so I should have all of your books put in the mail over this weekend.

I finished a new book! Sorry, that’s about all I’m going to tell you about it for now. I can’t even tell you why I can’t tell you, though if you take the survey below, you might get a few hints about some things I’m pondering for the future.

That brings me to the last thing on my announcements. Now that The Blades of Acktar is finished, I’ve been assessing what books to write next and where I want to take my author brand in the future.

Right now, my brand is providing Christian action/adventure/fantasy type books that both boys and girls enjoy. It was something I stumbled into when I wrote The Blades of Acktar, and it is much scarier contemplating writing a new series that some of my current audience might not enjoy. I know not everyone is going to love every book I write (I’ve already had that within The Blades of Acktar itself), but it is still scary working on something new.

So I’m going to give you a voice to help me assess what my current audience looks like (age range, genre preferences) and what you’d like to see in the future.

I know the survey looks a little long, but it is mostly multiple choice and there aren’t any wrong answers.

As an added bonus, those who complete the survey will receive access to 14 pages of cut scenes from Deliver. Yes, you read that right. I put together two of the scenes that I had to cut from the beginning of Deliver even though I really loved them. And now I’m going to share them in all their unedited glory if you take a few minutes to complete the survey below. Once you take the survey, a link to the cut scenes will be in the confirmation message that appears. Don’t click away too fast or you’ll miss it!

Thanks so much for taking a small slice of your time!

The Blades of Acktar: Disney Version

Disney Princess

Because I’m a Disney fan, I couldn’t help but start comparing the characters from The Blades of Acktar to Disney characters. Then I realized that would probably make a fun blog post.


Leith – Aladdin

Image result for aladdin

I wasn’t sure who to go with at first for Leith, but I finally settled on Aladdin. Both Aladdin and Leith are orphans defined by the situation they find themselves, even though they are secretly a sweetheart deep down. Aladdin, though, has a tendency to be more cocky than Leith, but Leith has a few moments. They both risk a lot over the love of a girl.

If Leith was in a Disney movie, he would be the outlaw who ends up on the right side of the law by the end, and tries his best to pitch in with all the singing even if he doesn’t always know what is happening.


Shad – Li Shang

Image result for li shang

Shad is SO Li Shang it isn’t even funny. Shang is a  by-the-books sort of guy. He looks up to his father yet also struggles to be his own person while living up to his father’s staggering reputation. Sound a bit familiar? Yeah, that’s Shad all the way.

If Shad was in a Disney movie, he would be the Disney guy who doesn’t even think it’s weird that everyone is singing. That’s just what good Disney princes do.

 

 


Martyn – Eugene/Flynn Rider

Image result for flynn riderYou probably guessed this one. Of course Martyn is Eugene. They both adore sarcasm, have a bad attitude about pretty much everything until they finally start to warm up to it, start out as very reluctant heroes, but end up sacrificial in the end.

And, yes, if Martyn were in a Disney movie, he would be the guy in the corner going “I don’t sing” with his arms crossed exactly like Eugene. Like Eugene, it would also take holding him at swordpoint to connvince him otherwise.


Jamie – Kristoff

Image result for kristoffThis one was probably my hardest to decide. I decided Kristoff in the end because both Jamie and Kristoff are the sort of guys who go great lengths for their friends without asking or expecting anything in return, especially if the girl doesn’t see them as more than a friend. They both find their families through being more-or-less adopted into one. Jamie, though, tends to be a bit cleaner than Kristoff.

If Jamie were in a Disney movie, he probably would be the goodhearted side-kick more than anything else, but he would be great at harmonizing with all  the other singing characters.


Renna – Cinderella (2015)

Image result for cinderella 2015Renna especially reminds me of Cinderella, especially as portrayed in the 2015 version. Not only does Lily James look a lot like how I picture Renna (except that Renna has straight hair and blue eyes), but the whole “have courage and be kind” motto is pretty much Renna’s motto. Both Cinderella and Renna are strong because they are kind to those around them even in difficult circumstances. They are even kind to those who hurt them. It is that kindness that attracts them to others and helps them triumph in the end.

If Renna were in a Disney movie, she, of course, would have a great singing voice and wouldn’t think twice about all the musical numbers she’d have as a Disney princess.


Brandi – Anna

Image result for anna from frozenAnother tough one. Brandi could’ve been Mulan, since she runs off to fight like Mulan does. Or maybe even Merida from Brave. But I think Anna best captures Brandi’s personality. Both are very spunky, lively, appear naive, and do a lot of growing. Both look after their older sisters. Both end up fighting when pushed into a corner because they are feisty like that. Both tend to say the first thing that comes to mind without always thinking it through.

If Brandi were in a Disney movie, she would spontaneously burst into song. She might, however, be slightly off key and singing a totally different song from everyone else.


Jolene – Merida

Image result for meridaJolene was the hardest one to pick. I know, I’ve said they were all hard. But even I didn’t get to know Jolene as much as I would’ve liked in the books. All her good scenes ended up getting cut in revision. 😦 But, I finally decided she was most like Merida. They are both good at archery. Both have very formidable mothers that they love but don’t always understand. Jolene’s mother, though, tends to encourage Jolene’s archery skills more than frown on it. And Jolene would’ve loved to have three little brothers (even if they were terrors) like Merida.

If Jolene were in a Disney movie, she probably wouldn’t do much singing. She doesn’t have a great voice. But she would pitch in and do what she’d have to do.


Kayleigh – Mulan

You knew Mulan had to come into here somewhere. 😉

Image result for mulan

Both Kayleigh and Mulan are very tough girls who know how to wield a sword and don’t always fit in with the regular society around them. They do what they have to do to survive while always holding on to their femininity even while dressed in trousers and swinging a sword. In the end, they both figure out how to be both a warrior and a girl.

If Kayleigh were in a Disney movie, she probably would be singing while she practiced with her sword.


So there you have it. The Blades of Acktar: Disney version. It would be one messed up Disney movie, especially since, if you were keeping tracking, Shang ends up with Merida, Aladdin falls in love with Cinderella, and Eugene has a thing for Mulan. The only pairing that matches the Disney movie is Jamie (Kristoff) maybe in the future MIGHT end up with Brandi (Anna).

What do you think? Do you have any other characters who would match Disney characters? Think a different Disney character should match these Blades of Acktar characters?